Nomadic. Storyteller. Soul searcher. Experience hungry. Music carnivore. Dreamer of better things.
Myvatn, SkÚtustaÐir, & Dimmuborgir
I leave Godafoss waterfall and head further North into the Arctic Circle region of Northern Iceland. Open tundra landscapes with glacial rivers carving their way through the wide valleys. I decide to stop at a particular river where I see a local fly fishing. She is covered in a net to protect her from midgies. I’m aware of these pesky bugs from my time hiking in Scotland, but haven’t encountered them in great numbers, although I’ve heard the tales…..
that all changed today….
I only make it a few yards before the midgies converge upon me. A dark cloud of pesky bugs attacks me, as they get in my eyes, down my throat, up my nose, everywhere! It’s a nightmare that only gets alleviated with the occasional blowing wind.
But alas, today is a pretty wind free day, hardly a cloud in the sky and warm temperatures. Perfect weather for the midgies to be out in full force. I hike maybe a 1/4 mile along the river before the midgies get the best of me, and I run screaming back to my car. The scenery was epic, but couldn’t really be fully appreciated.
I see a lone mountain that I want to hike, but as soon as I get out of my car, the midges attack yet again. Today seems to be turning into one of exploration from the safety of my car, which bums me out. I go to a gas station looking for insect repellent or at least a head netting, but neither are to be found.
Driving around the Myvatn area, I happen to just stumble upon Grjotagia and Storgia. They are large cracks in the earth that one can go down in to explore. High clouds are moving in, creating more of a constant breeze so the midgies are much less in number. It makes hiking bearable so exploring I go.
Later I find an area rumored to house trolls of old. The volcanic rocks are large here, and so I wander around for a bit, but the wind dies down and so the midgies return. I don’t last long before heading back to the safe interior of my car. I see my planned soaking area but I decide to cancel this soak, as the midgies will make it unbearable.
As I am driving back to Aukureyri, thinking that today was kind of a bust, I see a family pull off to the side of road and strip down to their swimming trunks. Intrigued, I follow them and find a natural hot spring from the river that is flowing down the mountain. I get my hot soak in after all!
Although I couldn’t really get out and explore the Myvatn area on foot like I had hoped, the day wasn’t really all that bad. I mean, I am still in Iceland after all, which is pretty damn epic in and of itself.